Nigeria could launch pilot digital currency by year-end

Nigeria could launch pilot digital currency by year-end

The Central Bank of Nigeria is preparing a pilot digital currency which could possibly launch by the end of the year, reports Reuters.

Nigeria barred its banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies in February after exponential growth in monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa.

Rakiya Mohammed, director of information technology at Central Bank of Nigeria said, the project aimed at creating some form of digital currency had been in the works for two years, and more announcements were likely in the coming weeks.

“We’re all aware that about 80% of central banks in the world exploring the possibility of issuing central bank digital currency, and Nigeria cannot be left behind,” said Mohammed.

She said the system would expand digital inclusion, make remittances from the diaspora easier and smooth international purchases for Nigerians.

“If you have a central bank digital currency that is backed by the government, then people can make transactions online without fear of any default,” added Mohammed.

Europe and the United States are working on regulating digital assets and their providers, while some other countries, including China, Britain and Russia, are also considering launching their own central bank digital currencies.